Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) announced Wednesday that he wouldn't support Mulvaney on account of his past advocacy for cutting the defense budget. "I think anyone who treats our national defense with the seriousness it deserves would remember a vote like that", McCain said on the Senate floor Wednesday.
Other Republicans see Mulvaney as someone who can help President Trump balance the budget.
However, Cochran and Collins both eventually made a decision to support Mulvaney, giving Trump another narrow victory in the Senate.
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A Senate vote on Mulvaney, a leading member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus who represents a region of SC, was expected on Thursday at 7 a.m. (1200 GMT). As I said then, insisting on blind cuts or a reckless government shutdown to prove a point isn't real leadership.
House Budget Committee chairman, Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., said Mulvaney is a "tireless advocate" for a responsible budget.
The military has been weakened by years of mandatory spending cuts, according to McCain, and forcing the Department of Defense to continue fighting for every dollar would prohibit Defense Secretary Jim Mattis from doing his job. "And this record can not be ignored in light of the significant authority exercised by the director of OMB over the federal budget".
Mulvaney's poor record on national-security issues is at odds with Trump's promise to rebuilt the US military, said McCain, the influential chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. "It's not about one Cabinet position".